Re: 40m Net
Charles W. Powell
Bill,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
I think the problem is just at 40 meters is WAY too long at 2000 central during the winter. The net *might* work at 1900, and when I first started with these nets, the first one started at 1900. The times were moved back for summer, because it was still daylight and the bands were too short, but they never were adjusted when winter came back around. I think that was 2 years ago, but I wouldn’t swear to it. Remember that over the summer, even though my logins were sporadic, I made it into just about every weekly net (when I was available) on both 40 and 80. Then winter came with shorter days and the time change. Effectively, we go around four hours later into darkness hours during the winter months.
So I know this only suggests a solution (different start time) that may or may not work with current band conditions. If someone is available, I’d be happy to experiment with folks to see what times, if any, work, but I can’t do it this week because I am out of town. I could be part of some experimentation next week on the 6th of February. We could coordinate through the talkgroup.
Another *possible* change that won’t work for a lot of folks is to go to 160m. I find 160 very challenging because 1) some of my radios don’t have that band, 2) antennas are a problem, and 3) the NOISE on 160 is impressive.
# Tangent. The following is a tangent. Stop now if you’ve already had enough! #
Having said all that, I discovered working last month that what “the old timers” say about dealing with noise. We are all used to cranking the AF gain to try to hear signals. That works fine on upper bands, but on 60, 80, and 160, the adjustment should be primarily through the RF gain. Why? Let me put it this way: If you have S9 noise and you turn up the AF gain on the radio, the noise becomes overwhelming. You know there is a signal that you can hear, but the noise is so loud, you can’t listen for more than a few minutes before you want to throw your headphones across the room. If you reduce the RF gain to where the noise is at a tolerable level, then that signal is suddenly audible at a reasonable level over the noise. You have optimized your signal-to-noise ratio by reducing the noise in the mix. You might ask, “Doesn’t this reduce the sensitivity of the receiver?” Well, yes, it does. But if your noise is S-whatever, everything below that level is useless to you. So why amplify the noise and increase your level of fatigue? The only thing to remember is to turn the RF gain back up when you change bands. Otherwise you’ll think the front-end of your radio is blown!
The point? Well, if you are trying to check into the 80 meter net, you know there are signals you can hear, and the noise is overwhelming, try this technique.
# End tangent #
Chas - NK8O